I wasn’t born deaf, I lost my hearing overnight at the age of 2 years and 9 months. Mumps we believe but even to date there’s no confirmation of the hearing loss.

Reeling from the shock of the deafness because I already had speech it was important to maintain it. The nursery I was already attending recommended a boarding school for the deaf. My mum was against the idea of boarding school.

We moved to Leeds and I attended mainstream school, they were strong on sign language and believed it was the best form of language to be taught to deaf children. Was I given a choice? No! Did they ask me how I wanted to communicate? No!

When I was implanted at the age of 7 1/2 that was my choice to hear because I wanted to be like my mum to hear. I chose I wanted the cochlear implant to give me a little sound.

Does that make me hearing? HELL NO! I am still bloody deaf! If I took the processor off my ears are DEAD… I am 150db profoundly bilingually deaf. So just because I have a different hearing aid, does not change the fact I am deaf and need to be able to communicate.

Signed supported English is signing and speaking, okay it’s not the BSL structure because I speak as well so it’s signed supported.

Do’ya know what? Does it matter whether I use SsE or BSL or spoken English? Stop defining a person. Accept their language choices.

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  • Katie J Redstar

    sign language & communication Coach, Author

    Deaf and visual impaired,  founder of Ignite the Light sign language, communication & sign language coach, Author. A Diff-abled coach. Living life's dreams..... Actions speak louder than words.